As writers we are accustomed to describing the emotions of our characters, but describing and doing are two different things. Can you read someone’s emotions accurately in real life?
A new study published in the Journal of Science found, “that after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence.”
This study even went so far as to suggest reading Chekhov or Alice Munro as opposed to lighter reads such as Danielle Steele if you want to improve your abilities “to read” people. The reasoning was that literary fiction leaves more to the imagination and encourages readers to deduct what the characters are feeling and thinking.
If you’re interested in taking the quiz to determine how well you can read someone, the link is here.
Personally, I love reading it all…I often have two books going at the same time, one more “literary” and one that is a lighter read. I think to be a well-rounded person one should get their hands on as many books by as many different authors as possible, and of course…I’m a bit biased toward indie authors!